State Secretary Wiebes of Finance has indicated that he will be unable to complete the full details of the model contracts for self-employed persons (ZZP-ers: ‘independent contractors’) by 1 January 2016. The substituting of the Declaration of Independent Contractor Status (VAR-verklaring: the ‘VAR’) with model contacts is now scheduled for 1 April 2016. The year 2016 will subsequently serve as a transition period in which independent contractors and principals are given time to adjust their procedure to the new situation as per 1 April 2016. In this transition period, which will run until 1 January 2017, the Tax Authority will not enforce but conduct supervision and issue warnings.

The Deregulation of Assessment of Independent Contractor Status Act (Wet Deregulering Beoordeling Arbeidsrelaties: ‘Wet DBA’) is aimed at combating artificial independent status. With the introduction of this Act, the VAR will be abolished. There has been much lack of clarity with the tax authorities, and political and special interest organisations. Moreover, there was alarm at the speed in which the Act was to be introduced and the question whether the tax authorities were capable of publishing sufficiently approved model agreements. The Bill was approved by the Lower House just before the summer, but the Upper House had doubts. In order to give all parties breathing space, the transition period has been extended. This will give the market time to phase out the procedure with the VAR and to switch to a new procedure.

The consequence is also that the period of validity of existing VARs has been extended to 1 April 2016. The validity had already been extended for the VARs issued in 2014, such that these also remain valid in 2015. A second extension means that the VARs issued in 2014 and in 2015 will also be valid for the first quarter of 2016.